Continuing on with our Parisien detour…
The best part about the hotel was how easy it was to walk to a few of the famous tourist sites that everyone wants to go see when they visit Paris. We were perhaps a ten-to-fifteen minute walk from Le Cathedral Du Notre Dame. If memory serves me correctly, Father Sorin was from this church, and it was he who started the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. (I tried to get as many great photos as I can since I had just bought a new lens. These are unedited and personal photos so I would greatly appreciate it if there was no copying and saving of these as some of them are really difficult to get. Thank you!)
Notre Dame had just started getting ready for the Christmas season as the tree was just being placed when we arrived. One of my favorite things about old European churches are their ornate exterior decoration. Notre Dame in particular has numerous carvings right above the two doors to enter and exit the building. I didn’t notice too many gargoyles as depicted by Disney, but there were of course the twelve disciples of Christ. The one to rival of course is that in Rome, presided by the Pope himself.
Near the Island of St. Louis, there is also a monument dedicated to the WWII prisoners. Let us call it the WWII Memorial. It is quite a small memorial. It was a tad bit creepy as all it is is a set of stairs that are greyish-white leading down to a round pit. The pit is of course tiled and stoned now, but you can only imagine what it was like back in the day when it was used for it’s intended purpose. Walking into a narrow room, one could see the millions of names engraved on a bright-yellow backlit wall as well as two tiny cramped quarters were thousands of prisoners were kept. While the monument itself was not mind-blowing, it still stands to impact anyone who has a heart for humanity and is aware of this crucial and devastating period of history.
That day my friend and I attempted to buy tickets to see the Eiffel Tower but the line for visitors without reservations was so long, it would be approximately an hour or so wait. Instead we walked down the Parc du Mars – this is the long and gorgeously landscaped quad that runs between the Ecole de Militaire (Military School). The Ecole De Militaire is also where Napoleon was buried (side fact). There is a small architectural landscape piece that probably has some meaning but I did not look up, that is right in front of the military school, just across the street. If you happen to go there at night and you are lucky that not many people have discovered this gem, there is a gorgeous shot of the Eiffel Tower when it is all lit up through a narrow corridor. If you are unlucky, you will get a few tourists there. If you are completely S.O.L, then you will have that one tourist who is presumptuous and selfish enough to turn around, realize that there are people waiting to take a shot of the corridor and the Eiffel Tower, but turn around and continue to stand right in the center of the shot without any intention of moving. My tourist happened to be Asian. Go figure.
- The next post will be the Louvre and a bit of food hopefully. Until the next time, I thank you for reading and hope to see you again soon!
R/g, the Traveller